In what promises to be one of the most head-bangingly dysfunctional induction ceremonies in history, surly metalists Guns N' Roses will be welcomed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on April 14.
That sound you hear is millions of suburban dirtballs worldwide engaging in heated debate about whether the fractured band's original lineup — especially lead howler Axl Rose and guitarist Slash — will make nice in time to play together at the event's inevitable jam.
And more than that, could this be a catalyst for a reunion tour that would surely stuff stadiums from here to Norway?
As announced Wednesday, GNR will be joined by fellow inductees including the Red Hot Chili Peppers (who play the St. Pete Times Forum Jan. 23), rappers the Beastie Boys, '60s singer-songwriter Laura Nyro, Mellow Yellow's Donovan, guitar great Freddie "Texas Cannonball" King and Britain's blues-rock Small Faces/Faces, the latter led by Rod Stewart and Ron Wood.
Some of this year's nominees who didn't make the cut: Donna Summer, Joan Jett and the Cure.
I'm not sold on the Peppers getting in; their punk-funk racket is popular but certainly not revolutionary. The Beastie Boys, however, were the first pivotal white rappers to take an urban art-form and bring it to a new, offbeat level; I agree with that one whole-heartedly.
As for most of the other inductions, those are the pet (rock) causes of the voting committee, industry insiders overseen with great weight by Rolling Stone honcho Jann Wenner, a music elitist if there ever was one. (Just ask fans of Heart, Journey, Chicago, Duran Duran, none of whom are in the Rock Hall of Fame.)
But the induction headlines will no doubt be dominated by Axl and the L.A. boys, who made the cut seemingly on the strength of one album: 1987's Appetite for Destruction, which, to be fair, is also one of the great hard-rock albums of all time, a piece of work that linked the hair metal of the '80s with the buzzkill grunge of the 1990s.
The Gunners were also one of the last truly dangerous rock 'n' roll bands, and their stage shows could either be messes or masterpieces, depending on whether the mercurial Rose, who rarely went on before 11 p.m., was in a good mood that night.
Which leads us to another question: If Guns N' Roses does agree to play at the induction ceremony, will Axl keep the most powerful people in the biz waiting until 2 a.m. to see his face?
Whether you agree with GNR's inclusion or not, one thing is certain: Things just got interesting.
Sean can be reached at [email protected] His Pop Life blog is at tampabay.com/blogs/poplife.